5 Things You Should Do Before Your Child Starts a New School Year

January 21, 2020

by Elizabeth Linsdell

Child writing on paper with coloured pencils

2 min read

We all remember the feeling of going back to school. Our children may look forward to it, many dread it, and for others it may be their first year of school, bringing nerves, tears, and sometimes tantrums. After a big break filled with fun and adventure, returning to school can be difficult.

To ensure your child has a smooth transition back to school, there are things you can do to help prepare them for the challenge. Below is a list for parents and caregivers that should help make the start of the new school year a little easier:

1. Talk about school with your child

It may sound simple, but by encouraging your child to start a conversation about school, you allow them to express their emotions – both excitement and fear - and in so doing develop a healthy relationship with their school experience. It also means if they do have fears you can provide support and track their progress.

2. Work on your child’s ability to listen and follow instructions, communicate needs, share information…

whether your child is starting school or is in the midst of it, it’s important to evaluate their skills. These behaviours will reflect how they manage in class, so it’s helpful to identify areas that need improvement. Click here for a list of skills and knowledge that will help your child if they are starting school for the first time.

3. Pens, notebooks, glue, scissors – you know the drill.

Carry out the standard stationary check. Get your child involved. Get them to manage the stationary list when you go shopping to top up supplies. You promote independence, organisation and responsibility by making them manage this themselves.

4. Read books with your child, or if they are older, suggest books for them to read over the holidays

Books promote literacy and language skills, empathy, creativity and more. They’re an important part of any child’s development. If your child is about to start school for the first time, read lots of books with them about starting school, to familiarise them with the different aspects of school life.

5. Test your child’s hearing

Along with their eyes and teeth, ears are just as important to test and are crucial in the classroom. Whilst it may seem like your child can hear fine, children are masterful at hiding issues, including hearing loss. You can test their hearing quickly and easily with the government-funded Sound Scouts app, available on the App Store or Google Play, or you can visit your local GP for advice.

Download the Sound Scouts app to test your child’s hearing. It’s fun - and free if you live in Australia thanks to funding by the Department of Health.

by Elizabeth Linsdell
Australian Government Department of health banner

Sound Scouts is now FREE for Australian school children thanks to Hearing Australia and funding from the Australian Government. Support available on 1300 424 122